“Don’t follow what people of the media say, follow the Quran and the Sunnah.”
My name is Alana Blockley. I’m 23 years old. I am from Glasgow in the UK.
My lifestyle before Islam was pretty much like any other westerner. Before I converted, I studied in College, University and I had a part-time job.
How I Converted
I converted to Islam when I was on holiday to Spain and I met Muslims there. And I saw that they went to the mosque and prayed. I saw this before in my country because we had lots of Muslims, but I never saw that right to my face.
When I returned from Spain, I spent a year reading books and watching lots of YouTube videos and researching online… not to change my religion, but just to find out what that religion is, because my only perception of religion was through people in my country.
So, I studied Islam for a year and then I eventually took my Shahadah in a mosque.
I was very nervous to do this because I didn’t tell anyone and only my Muslim friends knew that.
And then a year after that, just the week before Ramadan, I wanted to fast Ramadan that time, but I knew that if I was to fast, my mom and dad would wonder why am I getting so thin! So I thought I need to tell them.
So I told my mom and dad that I want to be a Muslim and I want to wear a scarf, and to pray.
My mom and dad were very happy. They knew that I went to the mosque and they actually thought I was already a Muslim. They were very happy with this and said I’m free to do what I like.
After I converted to Islam, my ideas towards the relationship between men and women did change a lot. Before Islam, I only saw what the media said.
So they always show that men abuse women, and women were forced to cover, and men were disrespectful towards women… That upset me because I believed that is what the normality was, and that is what happened.
So when I converted, I was sure to study the hijab and understand why women wear hijab. And also to understand embracing responsibility is both of men and women.